Developing an addiction is easier than you think
There is evidence to suggest that drug addictions and non-drug habits have much in common. “Addiction is most commonly defined as a pathological relationship with a substance” says psychologist Dan Wolf. “That relationship becomes the primary relationship in a persons life. So addiction can be about developing a particular relationship to food, sex, gambling, porn, shopping, even love. You wont find the term “addiction” in the diagnostic manual, instead you will see the word “dependant”. The antidote of that is independence. We are dependant on something to avoid dealing with independence and the fact that life can be a struggle. If we agree that we are all addicts dependant on something, it allows us to see recovery as a spiritual journey where some will make more progress than others”.
Living with an addict
It is usually the partner who hits rock bottom first and sets the recovery process in motion by applying pressure and making demands on the addict. In such relationships the partner usually experiences a high level of disregard, under-pinned by the addicts self obsession. The addict is ultimately concerned only with getting his needs met. Few emotional deposits are made into the relationship, but lots of withdrawels until it is bankrupt.
There is a link between people from alcoholic homes marrying substance abusers. You would expect them to look for a partner who is loving and available. Often they find the opposite. That is because the need is not to be in a loving relationship but to transform a distant self-obsessed person into a loving caring partner. Some people may look for the drama, they feel empty and need emotional turmoil to fill them up.
Addiction is all about taking. The addicts needs are always paramount. The partner of an addict needs to take a firm stand. Don”t allow the addict to think he is loved unconditionally, that you will be there no matter what. There should be conditions. Have a bottom line. You cant negotiate without one. An addict needs to get help from a therapist or counsellor with a clear knowledge of addiction. We should all expect to feel empowered and respected in a relationship. The more you are respected, the more you can expect love.